In the Evolution vs. Religion debates, it is rare when one “side” is able to recognize the value that the other brings to the table. Today, I provide for your consideration one such value that evolution has brought that is particularly lacking in many religious circles. I’m quoting from “Evolution: A Very Short Introduction”, by Brian and Deborah Charlesworth.
The study of evolution has revealed our intimate connections with the other species that inhabit the Earth; if global catastrophe is to be avoided, these connections must be respected…. Evolution provides a set of unifying principles for the whole of biology; it also illuminates the relations of human beings to the universe and to each other. (pg. 3)
In the stories of creation from the Bible (especially Genesis 2), creatures are brought before the human as potential “helpers”. All are determined to be different enough from the human that they are not “suitable”. Eve is then created from Adam and deemed to be a “suitable partner”. This Genesis account makes sure we understand that the other creatures are not like us, despite what we might observe. Our role is to care for all of creation, including these creatures. That is not to say that one perspective is right, and the other wrong, but it is to say that the study of evolution has advanced a perspective that is not obvious in scripture.
I find this very helpful.